Action Jackson

Yes, it’s all happening in the final stages of the putting together of Northcote.

And yes, I am about 2 months behind on blog posts.

So how about we just pretend time has stood still, and the Bakers haven’t actually moved in yet. And the painting isn’t done and the floors haven’t been finished, and that moving is still to come.

It’s been a flurry of tradies over the past few weeks (at least that part is true.) The main things to finish off have been carpeting of two bedrooms, hooking up of the solar, building the front steps and the amazing deck – complete with water views – and the sanding, polishing & staining of the floorboards.

Oh and boy the floorboards are delicious! So delicious you could eat (off) them. Well, some of our friends pretty much did. And you know how the first meal in a new house is often an occasion to celebrate… well look closely friends.


Yes, leftover pizza. Classy.

It’s been a flurry of packing, and the following image says it all. At least someone was smiling.


Siddy Boy was lucky to make it out of the laundry alive.

Oh, and we’re running another competition and all you need to do is name one of the hobbies represented in this picture…I’ll start; netball, welding, holepunching (soon to be recognised as an Olympic sport) lantern hanging…

Just leave your contributions in the comments section.

Talk soon



A bloody beautiful bathroom

Yes, the bathroom is coming along beautifully, and as promised here are a few sneaky shots of the work in progress. Bathrooms end up being quite fiddly rooms – with lots of stages to work through.

The bathroom – which in the case of ‘Northcote’ is an ensuite as it is closest to the main bedroom – begins with the wiring, plumbing and of course the layout  – windows, doors, drainage holes, taps etc – and then the real fun begins. It’s a combination of lots of trades doing their thing, and not tripping over each other.

Funny how they all seem to congregate on Fat Friday.

I digress…

Water proofing comes first – it’s the blue paint that gets slapped on anywhere that tiles are going to be placed. It adds an extra layer of protection for the wet bits.


Baby blue…

Then the tiling begins – floor first – with the lovely job of grouting. And did you know that there is a colour chart of grout colours? WB wanted a seamless look on the floor – big charcoal tiles that are grouted with a matching colour so as to create the idea of a whole space in the same colour. Some people like to use grout as a feature – and it works beautifully with the subway tile look – but in this case, it was about maximising space and letting the tiles do the talking.

The wall tiles are WB’s ‘pizza resistance’ and are in a herringbone pattern. They had to be laid out on the floor first – just so our friend the builder could get his head around it. Then the pattern was transferred to the walls…a cinch! (not!)


A practice run…

It turns out there is more than one way to lay a herringbone pattern, so after a false start, the wall took shape. The first pattern would have definitely been fine if you used the bathroom with your head cocked to one side.

The Baker Family chose to do the one wall of the shower in herringbone and keep the rest as a painted wall.


Ooh, so very neat.

The shower screen is a long glass panel that goes 3/4 of the way along the shower, with the end of the shower left open.


Boys, let’s lose the bucket.

Glen Egan from here in Forbes built the vanity, and what a splendid job he did. WB took him in a pic…and it looks exactly how she imagined it. The tiler even commented “It looks just like it came out of a magazine” Now there’s a compliment!

There’s still one door to come, plus handles, but you get the general idea.


Gotta love a bit of timber.

So while the first shower may be a little way off, things will come together rather quickly (“Eeek” I hear from WB) The electrician finishes off, the plumbers hook up the snazzy loo..


The snazzy toilet. Which is so tempting to use. But it’s not hooked up. Which could be awkward.

…and these guys will be having hot showers before you can say ‘Holy Herringbone.’

Talk soon


My, what big ceilings you have…

Size does matter, and in the case of the new River Road dwelling, this comes in the way of 3.6m – that’s 12ft in the old scale – ceilings.

They are magnificent and while they have proven to be a little tricky for the trades – particularly those with a fear of heights – the result is certainly worth it.


Gotta love a few guns

Bill made a whiz bang winning Ebay purchase (really, there are no failures on Ebay – well none that we speak of) and got himself a gyprock lifter. This thing is gold – the equivalent of the lemon zester in the 2nd drawer – and made light work of hoisting the sheets of gyprock all the way up into the air.

Gyprock lifter

12 ft ceilings…pfftt…a piece of cake

So there have been a few tricks put in place to bring those babies a bit closer to earth – try and make things look a little more cosy but still showing off those tall walls. The first one is a fancy cornice – which goes around the edge and is the meeting place for the walls and the ceiling. It’s going to be a bit ornate and wider than average.

The other feature will be wide skirting boards. And they are beautiful. Who would have thought you could get so excited about a piece of timber that runs around the bottom of a room? But yes, they are certainly adding to the charm.

Pre - cornice

Pre – cornice

In terms of choosing the fittings, it’s been quite a cinch…WB took loads of photos of the house in its original state – before it departed Melbourne – so the construction brief has been “match the original fittings”. And that goes for the rosette, which you can see here in its Melbourne surroundings.

The original rosette...quite ornate, don't you think?!

The original rosette…quite ornate, don’t you think?! Not so sure about the light feature…

This makes decision making a snap, and means the house hasn’t gone from Federation to Kardashian.

Next up is the bathroom…oohh you should see it!! I’ve got two words for you: Herring.Bone



Talk soon


Get thee to the shed

Well CB certainly has his priorities right. The shed went up on the weekend – just in time for the solar panels to be mounted. It was a big couple of days, all hands on deck, and the usual chatter and ribbing to make sure it didn’t actually feel like work.


CB sorting out a few things on ground level.

It is a fabulous shed. It has 3 bays – one for the boat, one for CB’s proper work ute and one for CB’s not so proper work ute (which was christened with the nickname Lolux last harvest due to it’s small stature compared to a regular Hilux) The solar power will be connected via the shed as the roof on the house is too steep to cater for such panels.


Here’s Sam, almost being upstaged by the lucerne. Get a load of it!

The details on the shed:

Colour: Windspray

Manufacturer: MD Steel, Forbes

Site manager: PB (brother of CB)

Lackies: CB, Sam, Dooey, Bill, Col, Andy, Steve, Tom, Dick, Harry.


The frame takes shape.


Almost there…

Oh and the ‘Guess the tool’ competition from last blog post – if you can remember that far back – was won by Andy Quade (no relation) who correctly guessed it to be a nailer puller outerer. Unfortunately it has come to the attention of competition organisers (me) that he was informed by another source Tom Quade (again, no relation) The rules clearly state that Tom should actually take the credit as it was his original idea. So if both families would all like to come and share in the prize, I am sure WB would be more than happy to cook dinner for you all in her new kitchen when it is up and running. She will be thrilled, trust me.

Balustrade…it’s French for ‘fence’

Cracking progress was made late last week at the sausage sizzle that is Northcote. Men for miles but all working hard, so that’s the main thing.

The verandah balustrade went up on Friday and while it will prevent any little people from falling over the edge, it also adds a certain kind of charm to the whole look, don’t you think?


The view from River Road

It was a gloomy old afternoon, which resulted in about 18mm of rain falling over the weekend, so the NCG (Northcote Cricket Ground) is shaping up nicely.


The view from the north-east corner (don’t quote me on that – I’m not great with directions)


Balustrade – up close and personal.

The Melbourne crew have packed up, and are off to put another Golden Age Home together, with Albury being their next stop. We managed a cross over of sorts, with the local tradies receiving the ‘hand over’ from the city boys. They speak mostly the same language, apart from the Victorian accent that turned the directive ‘over here’ into a version of ‘over hey-ar’.


Anyway it’s time to jazz things up round here so we’re running a competition. It’s called ‘Guess The Tool’ – and it might be a person place or thing. This week it is definitely a ‘thing’ and all you have to do is write your guess in the comments section. Of course, we’re not expecting to be overwhelmed, judging by the response to our last call out for comments back here. Not one.

Not to worry, we’ll push on and will give the answer in the next post. Which you will all be eagerly awaiting I am sure!

As for a prize, let me think, how about for the first correct response CB and WB cook you dinner at the new house when it is fully functioning? (I’ll check to see if it’s ok with them but I’m sure they’ll be happy to take part.)

So drum roll please for our first round of ‘GUESS THE TOOL’


Go on, have a guess.


Flat to the boards

Yes, this week it’s all about the boards – of both the floor and weather variety.

John and his A-Team have arrived back from Kilmore and are going like mad things to have the house closed in – from all angles – by the end of the week. Which is a real shame for the cat that has taken up residence.

They even left their homes in Kilmore, which is where the terrible bush fires are at the moment, to take up their place at Northcote. Talk about dedicated.

So far they have patched up the floorboards where the two fire places were in the kitchen and living room.

Exhibit A:


And the weather boards are taking shape along the southern side.

Exhibit B:


This two-tone look might really take off.

And now it’s the western side’s turn, and how is this for a workplace with a view? It kind of softens the blow of the 40+ deg temps that are lurking around these days.

Exhibit C:


But perhaps the most impressive achievement thus far is the ripping lawn that CB (who moonlights as an agronomist when not managing logistics at Northcote) has managed to establish in between the goings on of the house. It’s very impressive and has the makings of a fabulous oval. Maybe next year CB will have the New Year’s Test at his place.

Exhibit C and a half:


Fat Friday

Hey, it’s how we roll (sausage roll) around here – a tradition apparently – that every Friday the tradies forgo their wholesome sandwich for a revoltingly unhealthy pie/sausage roll/iced coffee combination for smoko that would make Sarah Wilson’s hair stand on end.

Sugar free it is not, but who am I to put a stop to what is apparently the most enjoyable part of the working week?

Gone are the grain bread, hand crafted, home cooked delicacies of a Monday through to Thursday. No, on Fridays the gloves are off.

Bill the Builder likes to prepare for this all important meal by beginning the day with only a light breakfast (a thinner spread of peanut butter on the toast, if you don’t mind) and then the usual break is pushed back by half an hour, so the anticipation really builds, and then it’s a matter of someone making the dash into town for the weekly feast of fatness.

Bill works with Dooey the Doer (who has never actually been referred to as that) and together they are working on the Northcote house. They specialise in renovating older style houses (which they might not realise) but this project is by far and away the most fun they have had in a while (I’m not sure about that either, but they seem to be smiling a lot.)

A lot of the recent work has been a bit fiddly (and not that memorable, or entertaining from a blogging point of view.) Nevertheless, I have taken a lot of photos of timber lately, with Dooey asking me just this morning if I didn’t have somewhere else to be – and that’s the funny thing, I don’t! School in the west doesn’t start back for another week, due to the exasperating heat that effects towns only 40 minutes away, but apparently not the rest of the state. So while I gear up for the teaching gig, it leaves me with a lot of time to stare at the internal corners being created, roof lines being constructed, ceiling beams being aligned and not to mention verandah boards going on. Like I said, riveting.

So here’s a quick snap shot of the week that’s been…complete with the Fat Friday feast.


Dooey on a Friday.


Very nice verandah boards


The kitchen gets some windows, with more to come


The ceiling. Amazing.


Bill the Builder, thrilled to be enjoying the local refreshments.